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If you didn’t know better you’d think this city had gone crazy. More people would be hard to imagine. The streets of Paris are full of celebrities and media, and out at the stadium the crowds are already huge as players pound the practice courts in preparation for the greatest tournament of the modern era. At the airport, where they’ve opened three more runways and put on extra staff, players and officials have been arriving like migrating birds. From all corners they’ve come, the stars of the modern game. What a line-up!
The most unusual tennis tournament in history is about to start. Albert Einstein’s seeded fourth. Chaplin, Freud and Van Gogh are also in the top rankings. World number one is Tony Chekhov. In all 128 players—everyone from Louis Armstong to George Orwell, Gertrude Stein to Coco Chanel—are going to fight it out until the exhilarating final on centre court.
John Clarke, Australia’s best-loved comedian, the inventor of farnarkling and comic genius behind ABC television’s The Games, is there to report on everything of interest.
This is a funny, strange and beguiling book in which, game by game and match by match, the world’s most creative players put their tennis skills to the ultimate test. A brilliant, bizarre comic novel.
‘Australia’s best humorist.’
‘Take a seat in the bleachers and enjoy his mastery of the sporting cliché and his unerring satirical skills. And if his satires are deadly, his parodies are simply unplayable.’
‘A tournament that pits some of the great creative artists, thinkers, wits, polemicists and celebrities of roughly the past hundred years against each other at the notionally sporting, but sometimes bruising, art of tennis, allows Clarke marvellous latitude for his brilliant satirical wit, his love of the one-liner and his unerring nose for literary parody…Game, set, match and championship: J. Clarke.’
‘A brilliant invention from a national treasure.’
‘What Peter Ustinov once did for Grand Prix motor racing, The Tournament does for tennis and world culture combined.’